Early this month the rather niche 3DS homebrew scene had a key evolution, moving away from requiring a specific retail game - namely Cubic Ninja - and utilising a free download to trigger the workaround. It's a small-scale scene compared to the DS days, but the homebrew launcher efforts of Smealum have been focused on opening up coding opportunities, region free gaming and emulation, while not supporting direct game piracy; emulation arguably falls under piracy, naturally.
In any case, the homebrew launcher has had an air of benevolence and resistance that some may quietly support, but the use of free-to-play IRONFALL Invasion as a prospective workaround seemed to prompt action from Nintendo. The shooter was taken down from the eShop, with the hacker sharing regret at the turn of events and apologising to developer VD-Dev. When we contacted the developer for comment it did, unsurprisingly, say that it had nothing to share on the issue.
Perhaps as a way to target a bigger fish and to step away from further problems with IRONFALL Invasion, another alternative Homebrew Launcher will utilise the YouTube app on the 3DS, which is another free download. Announced at the start of the weekend, a Vine has been share to show it works.
What's interesting about this latest development in the 'hax' Homebrew Launcher scene is that switching to free downloadable apps has given Nintendo greater power and incentive to get involved. The use of Cubic Ninja in the past meant it was a very niche affair, but utilising free apps increases availability; as we've seen with IRONFALL Invasion, Nintendo may not be happy to allow the homebrew scene to potentially grow courtesy of that increased convenience.
We'll see soon enough whether a YouTube app update arrives to shut down this exploit, or whether Nintendo (and Google) will allow it to pass.